Prehypertension, also known as high normal blood pressure, is a condition when a person’s blood pressure is elevated above ideal normal, but not to the level considered hypertension. Lowering the risk of prehypertension developing into hypertension is therefore essential. Massage therapy is has been suggested as a treatment to control blood pressure.
A study from University of Isfahan in Iran investigated the long-term effect of massage therapy on blood pressure in prehypertensive women.
A single-blind clinical trial study was conducted on 50 prehypertensive women who were referred to Sedigheh Tahereh Cardiovascular Centre, during a 6-month period in 2009. Participants were randomly selected to receive treatment or control. The treatment group (25 patients) received massage for 10-15 min, three times a week for 10 sessions. The control group (25 patients) was relaxed in the same environment but with no massage. Blood pressure was measured before and after each session and 72 hours and 2 weeks after finishing the massage therapy the study.
The results indicated that the mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures in the massage group were significantly lower in comparison with the control group. The results also showed that the lowered blood pressure was still observed 72 hours after the treatment, and there was still a significant difference between the test and control groups. The mean systolic blood pressure of the massage group was lowered by 12 mm Hg, and the mean diastolic pressure was lowered by 6 mmHg. The control group did not show changes in blood pressure.
However, at the two-week point after the study, there was no significant difference in the blood pressure between the two groups.
The study suggests that blood pressure lowering effects of massage is temporary and lasts between 3-14 days after the massage therapy treatment.
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